According to the recent information gathered by LGBT Forum Progress, at least four persons were granted asylum in Montenegro based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Furthermore, we have learned that at least that many persons are in the process of seeking asylum on the same grounds. All of them are currently residing in the Asylum Centre in Spuž, from where they have reached out to LGBT Forum Progress and sought support, advice, and aid in learning Montenegrin language. We maintain a regular contact with them, and assist them as much as we can.

Although it complimentary that Montenegro is showing the readiness to become a home and a shelter to those people who had to flee from half-the-world away for being gay, lesbian, trans, etc.; we must show concern and wonder if this comes as a direct result of actual progress of our system, or is it just another carefully constructed illusion meant to fool our European supervisors.

If our system has indeed matured and developed so much, and is not just a smokescreen, we ought to ask the Government and the Parliament of Montenegro to answer the questions that come up naturally:

1. If everything is so good in Montenegro, then why is our system of Social (un)protection and (un)care unable to help its citizens that have no roof over their heads, a single cent of income, and suffer violence and discrimination? How can you guarantee to others that they will get everything they need in Montenegro, when you let your own people freeze and starve on the streets and outside the institutions of the system, and cannot help us?

Have you already forgotten the case of a young gay man who was deported from Sweden, after his asylum application got rejected, and when he was guaranteed that his country can take him back and help him?

2. Are we so safe and secure as a country, like you are assuring us every day, that one trans person from South Asia or Central Africa will be able to go freely to the store, without having their head bashed in or ribs broken? You say and guarantee that we are safe, but countless cases of attacks on LGBTIQ persons and activist remain unsolved, without any hope or chance that they ever will.

Do you not recall the cowardly attack on Stevan Milivojević from January 2016, that was done by “unknown individuals” in broad daylight?

3. If our country has progressed so much in the field of protection and respect of human rights and acceptance of all of it citizens, then why do we see dozens of educated and perspective LGBTIQ people leaving every year, never to return? And not just LGBTIQ persons, but hundreds and hundreds of young people, that are a future of this country.

4. How can you guarantee to someone that they will be able to build a life and have a new beginning in Montenegro, when almost one quarter of our population is unemployed, and at least ten percent of them live below the absolute poverty line? Is this the economic prosperity and growth you proudly brag with in Europe?

You say that Montenegro is a modern, democratic and European country. You claim that we are leaders in the region and the jewel of the Balkans. You assure us that we are doing fine and that there is no reason to complain. Shame on you!

You are the representatives of the people of Montenegro – the very same people that suffers because of your negligence and lack of care. Than act like ones – be the voice of all of us, give strength to our words and take responsibility for your (in)actions. Unions and treaties come and go, one power replaces the other; but the people of Montenegro stay here. Never forget that.

LGBT Forum Progress

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